Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 3 Summary and Question Answers

Study Material

Act 3 Scene 3 Summary Merchant of Venice

Students should read the Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 3 Summary ICSE Class 10 notes provided below designed as per the Merchant of Venice book used in ICSE Class 10 English Books. You should refer to all notes provided here for Merchant of Venice Workbook which are really important and can help you to get better marks in ICSE Exams

Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 3 Summary


Again, from Belmont the scene shifts to Venice. We are face to face with Antonio’s miserable plight and Shylock’s heartless attitude. All the pleas of mercy have failed. It is sure that the Duke although unwillingly, will have to pass his judgment according to the Law of Venice. Here we see the stark contrast between Antonio and Shylock. Antonio is quiet and has accepted his inevitable fate whereas Shylock’s fiery outbursts make him akin to a devil. This
scene also is the preparation for the trial scene. Here the bond of friendship is also evident. Antonio is ready to sacrifice his life for the sake of Bassanio and Bassanio leaving his love of life, comes to Venice to save his friend’s life.


1. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

Gaoler, look to him: tell not me of mercy; This is the fool that lent out money gratis;

Here me yet, good Shylock.

    I’ll have my bond; speak not against my bond;
    I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond
    Thou call’dst me dog before thou had’st a course
    But since I am a dog, beware my fangs, The Duke shall grant me justice.

(i) What does Shylock ask the jailer to do? Give two reasons from the extract to justify why Shylock was against Antonio?
Shylock asks the jailer to look at Antonio and not to talk about mercy.
Two reasons for which Shylock was against Antonio were that Antonio lent out money without any interest and he abused Shylock and insulted him openly.

(ii) Give the meaning of – a) Lent out money gratis b) beware my fangs
a) Shylock says that Antonio lent money free of interest.
b) A dog uses his fangs or long sharp teeth. Shylock asks Antonio to watch or be careful of his dangerous fangs.

(iii) What does Shylock say after this extract blaming the jailer for bringing Antonio out of prison?
Shylock says after this extract that the jailer is so fond of Antonio that at his request he brought him out of the jail but he will not listen to anyone, he will have his bond and pound of flesh.

(iv) How does this short scene show the determination of Shylock to extract the penalty as stipulated in the bond?
Shylock has many grievances against Antonio. Antonio had abused Shylock openly and insulted him many times in front of others. Being a Christian, Antonio disliked Jews. He lent money free of interest and this was a financial loss to Shylock and people loved Antonio for his generosity and hated the Jew for his greed. These are the reasons Shylock hated Antonio. Now he has the chance to avenge and he is determined that he would get his bond and thus Antonio’s pound of flesh. His arguments and rejection of all the pleas of mercy show how determined he is.

(v) Describe briefly how this scene prepares the audience for the climax of trial scene?
The audience in this seen sees Shylock’s acute hatred for Antonio and also his determination to have his bond. The audience comes to understand that no power can make Shylock show mercy. As a result, Antonio is bound to suffer and may die as Shylock has planned. In this way, the audience is prepared for the climax of trial scene.

2. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

    Let him alone. I will follow him no more with bootless prayers.
    He seeks my life; his reason well I know:
    I oft delivered from his forfeitures
    Many that have at times made moan to me; Therefore, he hates me.

(i) After the Jew departs, who are the people left with Antonio?
After the Jew went away. Salanio and the jailer are left with Antonio.

(ii) According to Antonio, why does Shylock seek his life?
Antonio knows perfectly well that he had enraged the Jew many times in the past and he had also abused the Jew for his greed and lending of money at high interest. The Jew’s interest clashed with Antonio’s generosity. Therefore, he was after his bond and sought his life so that he would be free to hoard as much wealth as possible.

(iii) What does Salarino say about the Duke?
Salarino says that the Duke will never agree that the penalty in the bond should stand.

(iv) How did Antonio ‘delivered many from his forfeitures’.
Antonio had freed many people from the clutches of Shylock by paying their dues.

(v) Just after this extract, what final wish does Antonio express before he dies? What does it reveal about his character?
The final wish, Antonio expresses is that he wants to see his dear friend Bassanio efore he dies. He has no other wish and no desire to live a long life.
It reveals that Antonio loved his friend more than anything in life. Such love and loyalty for a friend are the traits that make his character noble. He proves to b e a true gentleman in the real sense of the word.

Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 3 Summary